Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Ability-growth interactions in the acquisition of a complex skill: A spline-modeling approach
by Schuelke, Matthew J., Ph.D., The University of Oklahoma, 2010, 71; 3439070
Abstract (Summary)

While investigating how the relationship of abilities and skill acquisition changes over the course of training, researchers have unknowingly obscured the very relationship they sought to examine by relying on analyses that focused on attainment and did not model acquisition. Although more recent approaches have modeled acquisition independently of attainment (e.g., Voelkle, Wittmann, & Ackerman, 2006), these analyses have neglected to allow for changes in the overall acquisition rate, which would permit a determination of exactly when and how abilities contribute to acquisition in accordance with current learning-phase based theory (e.g., Ackerman, 1987, 1988; Fleishman, 1972). Using a sample of 131 young adult males and a complex computer-based criterion task, the present research investigated the contribution of three abilities: general mental ability (GMA), psychomotor ability (PM), and visual attention (VA), to acquisition in different phases of training. Collectively, the findings suggest abilities do contribute to attainment early in training as has traditionally been found, but affect little difference in changes to acquisition rates throughout training. Furthermore, the results support an initial restructuring of the combination of abilities that contribute to acquisition and a stable (e.g., Fleishman, 1972) but not dynamic (e.g., Ackerman, 1987, 1988) contribution thereafter (e.g., Keil & Cortina, 2001).

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Day, Eric
Commitee: Bolino, Mark, Mendoza, Jorge, Mumford, Michael, Terry, Robert
School: The University of Oklahoma
Department: Department of Psychology
School Location: United States -- Oklahoma
Source: DAI-B 72/03, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational tests & measurements, Educational psychology, Cognitive psychology
Keywords: Ability, Growth curve, Individual differences, Skill acquisition, Spline
Publication Number: 3439070
ISBN: 978-1-124-43643-2
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